Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November - Turning the Big 60!

With the nice cooler weather, it's been truly nice to make some different fun art.  On the show front, I have a painting that is currently in a SDMA Artist Guild show entitled "Illuminations".  It didn't win anything, but always an honor and pleasure to be juried in. My painting, "Reflections", is catty corner of the winning piece which is a remarkable black and white oil painting of people in the pool looking up at buildings.  The perspective comes from someone who is in the pool with the other swimmers. It was one of my favorites and I'm happy it won. For San Diegans, there is still time to see the show until next Tuesday at the Poway Center of Performing Arts: "Illuminations"

Last month, I participated in a Halloween-A-Thon on IATCs and made cards to trade to other artists based on horror movies. I bought a Super Deluxe Heavy weight drawing paper sketch book thinking I could use a variety of mediums on it.  So I quickly sketched out the movie theme horror scenes using "Clockwork Orange", "Psycho" "Frankenstein" and "Carrie". My Jack Nicholson didn't come out as well as expected so he was trashed.

Although it was great to just work on one piece of smooth paper drawing it all out, the watercolor didn't quite absorb the way I would like but it was good to test it out.  Here's how the cards turned out along with a couple more using copics and gel pens.


Candy Monster

Green Witch with Cat
 I also had a chance to make these Day of the Dead wall plaques. I saw something similar in Old Town while perusing a cool store filled with DOTD items and wanted to try my hand making them.  I made a skull template and used it as a stencil on wood and cut them out.  I used a stencil for the flower portion of the  dark blue one because it's for a special person and the others have freehand drawing. They were then painted in acrylics and varnished.  The fun part was cutting up all these soda/drink cans that everyone saved for me to use as eyes and lip embellishments.  I used the tab part of the can as a hanger in the back.  These will all make nice DOTD gifties!
Day of the Dead Wall Plaques

Last year, I signed up for the "Oddball Art Ornament" swap.  A lot of the ornaments are creepy cool, sort of in the spirit of "Nightmare Before Christmas".  I received some deliciously creepy ornaments, and now I need more.  I made Black Widow spider's with red sparkle hour glass backs on a frosted snowflake web.  I molded a roped up Rudolph, Snowman and something else I can't remember but they were dead and trapped by the spider.  Crystal beading was added to the ends of the spider web for the full snowflake effect.  This year, I made "Festive Shrunken Heads".  The faces were shaped cone-like with paper clay.  I drilled holes for the wire laces at the eyes and mouth, and also for piercings and then painted them candy-ish with acrylics.  Then the wire was sewn over eyes, mouths and piercing. The hair is made of a variety of ribbons, yarns and were attached securely both inside the head and outside.  The final touch was sewing some jingle balls onto the ribbons.

 




In the meantime, I'm busy swishing paint, cutting and gluing arty presents for my Secret Santas which has to remain a secret for now.  

This Sunday, I'll be celebrating my 60th birthday....yikes!   There's no denying that I'm getting old, but I am so very thankful for this time in my life to be able to do my life's passion, ART.  I am also so lucky to be surrounded and loved by wonderful family and friends and I get to live in beautiful San Diego, CA.  It's been a wonderful and remarkable year of arting with artists in Arizona for Artzona, going to Cabos San Juan and Lucas with close girlfriends for water, sunshine and wine, of meeting east coast artists in Rochester, NY, and seeing my sister and her family with my brother in Boston.  It's been a wonderful year and I thank everyone whose made it so special for me this year!  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and Blessings!     

Friday, October 3, 2014

Happy Friday!


Hoping to see a lot of San Diego friends and artists tonight at Liberty Station: 2825 Dewey Rd.San Diego Watercolor Society

I went to the Preview Reception Awards Ceremony which was lovely and I met a lot of wonderful watercolor artists and their families.  The next morning, they has a breakfast for us and I learned so much about each painting from concept to the technical painting aspects.  I just absorbed everything and can't wait to try my hand with some of this new knowledge.  I have a fear of public speaking, but I did get up and speak about my painting which has a double story and how it almost had the name of "The Heavier Side Layer" but I personalized it with "Half Past Bloom".  I think everyone appreciated the painting techniques of how I took a photo of the painting when it was almost done and played with an art app on the iPad making experimental teal drips to see how it looked before actually committing to drip in a very controlled way.  I learned from the great watercolor artist, Nicholas Simmons, that watercolor accidents are both beautiful and wonderful and so I deliberately use water blooms, drips, splashes all in a very controlled manner as part of my painting and design process.  

The painting that won "Best in Show" is truly beautiful live.  There is a faint image of a rat and with tic tac toe game pieces.  The colors are dark and broody with beautiful teal to balance it all out and it's called "A Dangerous Game".  Although the artist was there for the Preview Reception, I didn't have a chance to speak to him about his painting but I sure would like to know more about it.  My favorite painting in the show is "Zumba Baby" by Joan Merrick.  She batiks her own papers and works in both watercolors, liquid acrylics and collages her papers onto her paintings. She said she takes a zumba class and here was this wonderful woman with her hair up in a ponytail with corkscrew curls and she has a baby strapped to her who slept throughout the whole zumba session.  Joan asked to take her picture and this woman graciously agreed.  I hope she finds out about this painting to see her gorgeous self and strapped baby! I would just love to take a workshop with this artist.  I don't want to infringe on any of the artists copyright by publishing their paintings on this blog, but if you'd like to take a peek at the paintings I spoke about or see the award winners, just click onto the SDWS link above.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September Art Progress

"Faded Manuscript within Reality" by artist Arup Lodh, SDWS International Director's Postcard Award

I'm so excited to say that I've been juried into the 34th International Exhibition at the San Diego Watercolor Society.  This is the second time I've been accepted and juried in and I only need one more to go before I earn letters. The juror, Skip Lawrence, was very touched by my entry and  I also won a sweet award!  The Pre-Awards Show is this coming Saturday evening and is a fun event except that I dread going on stage to accept the award - it's my biggest fear - but at least I don't think I'll have to say anything, thank goodness. There's going to be a breakfast for all the accepted artists as well and that is such an honor and a privilege! The opening reception is on October 3rd from 5 to 8 pm at Liberty Station. It's also the first Friday and Liberty Station has all its artist galleries open as well as the Vision Arts Quilts opening reception in the same building.  This is my entry for this year's show and there's more on the story in previous post.  Anyone reading this and happens to be in town, you are more than welcome to come by and say hi!   The show is running for all of October. 
"Half Past Bloom" 22.50 x 25.50 " Watercolor on 300lb Hot Press Arches
   
My current work-in-progress is this large colored pencil piece of an underwater lily garden scene with a single koi. I love its almost abstract quality and I think I've composed this pretty well. I'm using my red mylar to check all my values while I'm in the process because there are so many greens and yellows.  It is done on 300lb Hot Press Arches and the base is now filled with waxed based Prismacolors.  The white areas have been masked with the white pencil to be scraped off with a blade and will be completed last.  This drawing/painting is in its ugly duckling stage.  The next step is to fire up the Icarus board and go over the wax base with Caran D'Ache and perhaps some Derwent to burnish and add more depth of color and details. Although it's a slow piece, I've broken the piece down by quartering it and working on a quarter before moving on to the next.  The fish I'll save for the last part.  This will be my project for the coming week and I hope to have it mostly completed by then so I can remove the masked areas.  I have some high hopes for it for the Colored Pencil Society's 2015 International Show.  I so want to go to Hot 'Lanta for the convention and also visit with my husband's family in Georgia.  
22.75 x 31 3/8 Colored Pencils on 300lb Hot press Arches on the easel

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hand Art and Day of the Dead!


St. Benedictus of Honor Skull
Chrysanthemum Skull
Flying Winged Skull
Zentangle Skull
Calavera
Octopus
Fire Horse
Hummingbird

Although it's a month early, I'm always up for some spooky skull art!  These skulls are for a Pen & Ink Skull Swap and are done on 4 x 6 vellom surface Bristol paper.  It's been awhile since I've drawn strictly with pens in super detail and it was hard to resist the temptation of adding watercolors, but it's strictly forbidden!
The bejeweled skull is drawn using the St. Benedictus in Honor reference photo from an old issue of Smithsonian. What an amazing skull with its crowned jeweled headdress with ribbons and lace.  The rest of the skulls I made up with the Chrysanthemum skull representing the fall season, the flying winged skull because I like the idea of skulls flying around instead of being earth bound and this one is in space and having a blast, and finally I enjoyed zoning in and making a "zentangle" skull.  My husband wants a t-shirt of the flying winged skull, so it'll probably be further developed with full wings.  

I have had my hands literally full of art!  Those are my outlined hands with paintings of some animals and a sexy calavera.  The octopus is in it's 5th incarnation having been done in the Sketchbook Project and ATCs before, but this one is the best. I love hummingbirds and have a family who stops by the feeder in the morning and evening.  I've watched a particular female for 3 years and now, she has a handsome son who has her eyes and copies her moves and comes by for a drink. The fire horse was made for this Chinese year of the Horse and happens to be my Chinese birth year and I loved how it turned out.  I really wanted to keep this one for myself.  The sexy calavera is a good start for the coming spooky season and Day of the Dead is big in San Diego! 

There were a few more art swaps I participated in but won't show because it's just too much and yes, I've been having too much fun procrastinating and making gobs of mail art!  Now it's time to put all the fun, playful stuff away for now and go back to the huge pencil painting still in progress from two months ago.  I have high hopes for this one and plan to enter it into the International Colored Pencil Show for 2015. Colored pencils take so much time and this painting/drawing is not even at 50% so time to get to work! 

On a good note, I received exciting news about my watercolor painting and will announce it towards the end of the month!  









Thursday, July 17, 2014

Orange Is the New Black

I put my big painting aside for now to make more art trading cards, this time after a favorite show "Orange Is the New Black" based on Piper Kerman's true life story.  All the characters in the show are so well developed and there is a back story on each of them that the show producers let out just a little bit.  It can be pretty raunchy, but it's addicting.

I'm still continuing in my quest to make enough art to trade, but maybe trading is much more laid back in Rochester as opposed to Artzona. No matter, I'll see if anyone still wants to trade with me.  All the artists there are so very unique in their approach and style. That said, my sister in Conn. told me to bring an umbrella.....what?

Two weeks to go......!

 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Twisted Alice in Wonderland

With the art event coming up next month in Rochester, it was time to  get busy and illustrate ATCs to trade with some pretty stellar artists who'll be in attendance.  Since I was already participating in a swap in the same theme, I thought I would just expand and make an additional 9 cards to the 4 I had already.  I love doing a more contemporary twist on this favorite book by Lewis Carroll, these characters could be barflys or street gang people.  Some of the characters, like Alice herself, were difficult to do in such a small format so I resorted to doing a twisted portrait of her being a big cry baby.   With 30 or so people attending, I only have 21 more ATCs or other types of art to make.....pant, pant, pant!

Twisted Alice In Wonderland

And last but not least ~ 

Cheshire Cat


Monday, June 16, 2014

WIP ~ Underwater Garden

With this painting, I'm using two of my own photo references to make this underwater composition and switching from watercolors to colored pencils. It's an ambitious piece measuring 30.5" x 23" on 300lb hot press watercolor paper.  Currently, it's in its baby ugly stage right now and will be for some time - it looks to be 25% completed.  After the color has been blocked in, I'll heat up the Icarus board with a blender to burnish the colors so that no white can be seen through.  Can you see the koi fish drawn in the lower right hand corner?